The color Red

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ArtTalk October 1, 2009, 6:30 pm

“The Case of Imperial Red versus Royal Blue”

Wallraf Museum

In the upper left- hand corner of the Vincent Van Gogh “Shoes” painting, Van Gogh´s first name “Vincent” appears painted in bright red – why red?

Wallraf´s permanent collection provides the perfect springboard to consider the historical issues and associations linked to the color red ( and compared to the color blue!). We´ll begin with the story of imperial red; the red of medieval cardinals and saints contrasted to the fiery red of the devil, then work our way up the stairs to examine red-hot examples of visual and cultural relevance present in Wallraf´s 19th century art works. Of course, we´ll pause to examine Vincent’s “Shoes” and reflect on his signature use of the color red.